Over 2 years ago, concern began to grow when it was discovered that the 58-story high Millennium Tower in San Francisco had settled 16 inches and tilted 2 inches, after just 8 years of being open. The latest reports, according to NBC Bay Area, say that the building is now tilting 18 inches, when measured at the top. That stress on the curtain wall may have caused a 36-story window to crack.
On September 1, residents were awoken by the sound of a large cracking noise around 2:30am. The owner of one of the units on the 36th floor then found that one of the window’s had a large crack in it. The windows were supposed to be able to withstand hurricane force winds. After the crack was reported, the sidewalk below that side of the building was barricaded off and a team of experts were scheduled to assess the window.
The Homeowner’s Association hired a drone pilot to conduct an aerial survey last week, which turned out to be a little more eventful than they were expected. After the drone took photos and videos of the window, the pilot lost satellite signal and lost control of the drone and it came crashing back down to earth, nearly missing a young child, according to CBS SF Bay Area.
Experts in the area have expressed concern in the past that the curtain wall may be separating from the interior structure, which, in addition to putting additional stress on the curtain wall, it could also create a fire hazard. The gaps between the floors could possibly allow a fire to spread much more quickly.
The final fix to the building will be an expensive one and all interested parties are still engulfed in legal battles. In April of 2018, engineers proposed a solution to the problem that could cost anywhere between $200 and $500 million. The solution, which would involve installing 275-300 micro piles down to bedrock, could possibly cost more than the $350 million it took to build the tower in the first place.
Full story: New Crack in San Francisco's Tilting Millennium Tower | NBC Bay Area